Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler’s former CEO, was renowned in the car industry for succeeding in adverse circumstances. After his sudden death, he leaves large shoes to fill at one of Italy’s biggest businesses. Marchionne was instrumental in building the company, as well as leading it with huge amounts of energy and vision.
In June 2009, Marchionne, then Fiat CEO, entered Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. America’s third largest car manufacturer had just declared itself bankrupt and was in dire straits. Marchionne engineered a takeover and oversaw Chrysler’s turnaround. January 2011 saw it launch 16 new products at the Detroit Auto Show, presenting a new and revived Chrysler to the marketplace.
Marchionne then oversaw Chrysler’s merger with Fiat in 2014 to create FCA Automobiles. This, along with a number of spinoffs, brought an ailing conglomerate back to profitability. By 2017 the new company’s net profit amounted to €3.5 billion, from €111 billion in revenues.